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Karnataka - Bidar Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Bidar's forgotten hero

Staff Correspondent

Madho Rao was also known as Jung Bahadur because of his expertise in warefare


Interesting facts
  • Jung Bahadur spent Rs. 20,000 for raising an army and carrying out the rebellion
  • A jamadar got a monthly salary of Rs. 40, a sepoy Rs. 30 and a sawar Rs. 10
  • Jung Bahadur gave Rs. 200 to his follower Deva Rao to recruit 500 soldiers
  • During a search, the officials discovered that Jung Bahadur carried several papers in English and Marathi, translation of a deed of agreement and a seal saying he was the `Chatrapati of Satara'

    Bidar: Bidar has its own place in the country's first war of Independence. However, the common man knows little about it. The war of 1857, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny, started after a soldier, Mangal Pandey, disobeyed the orders of his British senior officer and shot him dead. Historians believe the war came to end, with the arrest of a follower of Tantya Tope in Bhalki in Bidar district in 1867.

    Madho Rao alias Rama Rao was the nephew of Shirmant Shahu Chatrapati, the Maharaja of Satara. He was also known as Jung Bahadur, because of the skills he showed in battle.

    British military officer and historian Sir Richard Temple has referred to Jung Bahadur in his diary. Details about Jung Bahadur's life and achievements are also found in the book, "The Freedom Struggle in Hyderabad", published by an expert committee appointed by the Andhra government for compilation of the history of the freedom movement in the erstwhile Nizam state of Hyderabad, in 1956.

    According to the book, Jung Bahadur had caused enough damage to the British government before being arrested.

    He had raised an army of over 1,500 people in and around the forests of Bhalki.

    His forces had captured a cantonment area called Ashti in Bidar district. The Nizam of Hyderabad, who was an agent of the British, arrested him and tried him for "trying to bring about insurrection against the empire".

    Jung Bahadur went about recruiting soldiers in the villages and issuing them "Kaulnamas" or appointment letters.

    In the letter, he asked young men to join him in the task of "murdering the British and regaining the lost glory of the Royal family of Satara".

    Jung Bahadur and his followers visited villages disguised as mendicants. They were arrested by two officers of the British Resident. Their trial, however, was conducted by the Nizam's court.

    Magistrate of the criminal court Moulvi Nasrullah Khan completed the trial in less than a month.

    Jung Bahadur, Bheem Rao, Balakishtayya and Vithoba were sentenced to "transportation to life".

    Jung Bahadur is said to have spent his last days in the Hyderabad prison, where he died.

    His followers, Yeshwanta and Jehangir Ali, were sentenced to 14 years in jail. Others, including Eshwanna Naikwadi and Vir Peddappa, were given minor punishments.

    Historians feel the country has forgotten its proud son, Jung Bahadur.

    Bidar has a pride of place in India's freedom struggle. Eminent historians have commented that "it would thus be not incorrect to say that the Bhalki conspiracy case was the last echo of the outbreak of 1857". "The freedom struggle in Hyderabad" says the conspiracy is a milestone in the country's war to liberation, according to retired professor B.R. Konda.

    "Actually, Jung Bahadur should have been as famous as Mangal Pandey. But his name does not figure in history textbooks. This is because writers of history books and textbook selection committees tend to concentrate on events within the geographical boundaries of Karnataka. They do not seem to think of areas that were part of it before the reorganisation of States", says M. Ahmed, a retired history professor.

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